An exercise in feral cartography
Danica Sretenović works as an architect with localized utopias – places, concepts and practices – currently dedicated to the production of creative workplaces, cultural programs and education formats within the feral construction site Krater. Operating from the diverse background crossing architecture and design, education, critical theory, curating, film making, public relations she is equipped to conceptualize unexpected tactics, strategies and interventions. In an attempt to redraw the territory of the public she engages with archives, ruins, cartographies, stories, urban urgencies. She currently leads the School of Feral Grounds with Gaja Mežnarić Osole. Her work was featured at several international film festivals and exhibitions venues and is awarded the highest national recognition in architecture – Plečnik’s prize.
We will pay attention to territories that the contemporary spatial practice classifies as its own debris to challenge the use of urban planning as a corrective measure and city growth as ever larger building site. Selected case studies map margins, where the standard criterion of ordering space fails. Such counter-territories often fail to sustain permanently – the final act of elimination or replacement is exercised by a soft power. First they are led to extinction by the slow decay and then revitalized by the injection of a commercial program which most often enables gentrification and segregation. As opposed to good deeds practices where “urban repair” replaces “unsightly mess” alternative reading is offered in theoreticaly-performative engagement with such spaces. Feral, as developed in the study, is the concept of self-reliant resistance, uninvited action, and unforeseen future. It is not only the emergence of unplanned ecosystems where pioneering and invasive plants stimulate new biotic and spatial relationships; it is a political, living practice that interferes with the notions of context, user, zoning, and a mainstream planning, while exposing existing administrative framework of urban regulations as insufficient.